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So I am getting a black miniature puppy next spring. I have always been very interesed in grooming and my ambition is to do it myself.

I was thinking about slowly starting to look around for good deals on equipment. I already have some brushes that I bought a year ago as sort of a promise to myself that my dream of getting a poodle would come true soon. I have to check which types I have (I can't for the life of me remember the different names of the brushes right now haha).

I don't think I need a grooming table if I have just one little dog, plus I don't have the space for it. Plan A is to do it on top of the laundry machine, plan B is the floor... :ROFLMAO:

But what sort of equipment do I need for the very beginning?? and what should I spend a bit of money on vs getting it cheap?

Are those special dog hairdryers essential? If I don't have one when its young will it then be difficult to introduce it to it as an adult? can I use my own hairdryer or is it too hot??

With the clippers, does the difference between the cheap and the high quality ones matter a lot or is it only if you are a professional and grooming several dogs a day?

Same with the shears? is it worth it to invest in nice ones?

I am willing to invest a bit if its worth it and the products are long-lived.

Also, since I live in Europe I have noticed that some of the products that PF recommends are not easily available so please feel free to suggest several brands/types if you want.
 

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I am basically in an identical situation to you. I groom my own black mini. I don't have a grooming table but I would definitely invest in one if I had the room. As it is I use the top of my chest freezer or the top of a cooler. Easier to start somewhere higher though. I would definitely not do it on the floor. They behave much better on a raised surface.

There is definitely a difference between low quality and high quality tools. I groom my mini primarily with only a Wahl Bravura. I do scissor some and use a Bravmini for his feet. I use the metal combs with the bravura for body clipping.

For the dog dryers I would say yes they are essential. But no harm if you don't have one at the beginning. I used my own hair dryer for a while and got a force dryer when my dog was ~7 months old. He adapted to it just fine. It makes a big difference in getting a good fluff dry for clipping. I use a flying pig flying one.

For shears I would say yes it is worth it to invest in good ones but personally I almost exclusively use my curved shears. So I have a really nice pair of curves and I don't know if I'll ever upgrade my straights. I really like my kenchii five stars. For my mini I like the 7.5" curves and I personally like no offset on the handle. Geib and Kenchii are the brands I saw recommended the most.

Don't forget a good metal comb. I use the 000 fine/course Chris Christensen comb.

And a good shampoo & conditioner are a major part of a good groom as well.
PSX_20200818_200054.jpg
 

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You don’t need a grooming table but my washing machine is a little too high for me to comfortable inipuse to groom my minipoo. You will need a non-slip surface such as a bath mat. You want your dog to feel secure standing on top a table. This is a messy job cutting hair so chose an area that’s easy to clean. I used to groom my tpoo on the bathroom counter and a kitchen table is a good height.

I got great deals lead up to holiday shopping. i also used a snipe app to bid on eBay after watching the prices of items over a couple of weeks.

It will depend on your dog’s coat as an adult so it is hard to predict. My tpoo had a very soft coat and I was able to use cheap trimmers from a big box store. My current minipoo has a gorgeous thick correct poodle coat that needs high quality clippers. The cheap ones that worked beautifully on my tpoo won’t go through my minipoo’s coat. I really love my bravura trimmers and recommend anything similar. I got them at a special price along with metal guides. Metal guides are much better than plastic And offer you some options for grooming.

I did my tpoo paws with cheap regular size trimmers but I bought mini Arco to do my minipoo paws and I love them. Wahl has a range of similar mini trimmers so bu what you find a good deal on.

My experience is the cheapest clippers require you to screw tiny screws to change blades which is annoying and time consuming. The professional have better motors and the blades snap on and off. Sometimes blades get too hot and need changed in the middle of grooming so it’s nice to snap one off and quickly snap a fresh one on and continue working.

Do purchase a metal comb often called a butter, greyhound or poodle comb. I found a nice one on Amazon.

I used my hair dryer on my tpoo but purchased a high velocity dryer for my minipoo. It takes too long to dry with a human hand held dryer. Look for one with adjustable dials for power so you can turn it down low for the face and higher for the rear. Mine has heat, I use low when I first turn it on and switch heat off as the dryer heats up .
 
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Here’s what I bought for my toys (the bare minimum and it’s been good enough for three years). Of course you can get a lot more stuff if you want, but grooming doesn’t require that many tool.

I use :
- kitchen table to do the grooming and regular human blow drier

I bought :
  • Wahl Arco or Wahl Bravura wireless clipper with 5-in-1 blade
  • A metal comb
  • a slicker brush
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • Dremel and clipper for the nails
 

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Great info from all! You will not believe how much fur will go flying, so add an inexpensive vinyl or plastic tablecloth to cover tables, counters, wherever you end up grooming. I have shifted my clipping and trimming to outside whenever possible.

Understanding that space to keep a table set up may not be possible, there are still a couple of options, also understanding these items may not be available but might spark ideas.

I almost purchased this table top option. I didn't check to see if the arm is removeable.
Pet Grooming Supplies : Amazon.com: Go Pet Club Pet Dog Grooming Table with Arm, 22-Inch, Black
469518


but decided to go for a slightly bigger folding table. This folds up to store under something or in a closet. The arm detaches. I don't have a lot of arm strength but can shift this around on one level of my home without help.
Amazon.com: Mini Size Pet Dog Portable Grooming Table by Flying Pig Grooming (Sky Blue)
469517


Both are available from a number of pet supply sources, if the idea appeals.

For clippers, the Wahl line has a lot of fans, myself included. The cordless option and 5 in 1 blade, which accepts the metal guide combs, give a lot of flexibility.

There were a lot of us going thru these same questions 3-5 months ago when it was apparent that lockdowns were here to stay for a while and our poodles were getting rather bushy 🌳. There's a lot of info for novice groomers in those threads :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow thank you everyone for such good and quick replies. :)

@Raindrops thanks for the advice. I have to admit, I have been looking at your dog quite a bit. I love the styles that you keep in him and I might copy some of it for my own dog. Well once the adult coat has come in. I have a sneaky suspicion that I will probably give up during coat change and just shave it down in one length to keep the matts out.

I have seen Whal mentioned a lot I will try and have a look around and see if I can find that brand here. I definately need the cordless type because the plugs in my home are in weird places. On the issue of shampoo and conditioner, I have searched the old posts on the poodle forum but the brands in the US are not as widely available here. I have tried to look for CC but when I do the delivery charge is almost as much as the price itself. My plan is to ask the breeder when I visit (or if, damn COVID) about what she uses. Whether its a European brand or if she knows a good place to buy the other brands.

Another reason why I am looking into this so early is that we might (depending on COVID) go to Germany for christmas and you usually have better variety, quality and price of things there. Especially animal things, they have very good pet products. Nearly everything I buy for my gerbils is from german brands. It would be a good idea for us to stock up a bit while there.

@Skylar thats a very good point about the cleaning up afterwards! Now that you mention it, if the hair goes behind the washing machine then thats going to be a nightmare to clean!

I am getting the puppy from a successful show breeder so I am expecting a good dense correct poodle coat. So it looks like I should definately invest in good clippers.

@Rose n Poos I think that since I have quite a bit of time to get things sorted (the pup isn't even concieved yet!) I will take the time to declutter and rearrange my apartment. I need to do so anyway for my sake but also to make puppy proofing easier in the spring. If I declutter the storage room a bit I might be able to fit a folding table in there, which I can then move to the bathroom for grooming time.

I might have more luck finding a good table in Germany. I definately want to find something that truly lasts. I hope that the poodle will be long-lived and happy. But also considering that my fiance wants us to get a wire haired fox terrier sometime in the future (will be years), it looks like I will be doing a lot of intensive dog grooming for the next 20 years (I really prefer handstripped terriers and very few groomers will do that, I will have to do that myself).

I also think that since I know that this will be something that I will be doing for a long time. That its better for the environment to get a good quality product that will last for a long time. Rather than to go cheap in the beginning and then throw that away later to upgrade.
 

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aha! I knew I could rely on Germany. I found this store: Professionelle Hundepflege 🐩 | EHASO Hundepflege

They have a much better selection than Amazon, I just have to figure out whether they sell to individuals or if its just a supplier for professional groomers.

They also have brands that I have not seen anyone mention. For clippers this includes AESCULAP and Heiniger. Have you ever heard of them/have any experiences?
 

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this is my Wahl bravura Clippers and the metal guides which are superior to plastic guides. Seems silly to throw in a random pet bowl.

Some of my grooming tools come from professional grooming supply shops so I hope you will be able to purchase from them to.
 
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